When it comes to marketing, many organizations struggle to give adequate attention to planning their marketing actions. Many times, leadership within an organization wears many hats, and marketing seems to get put on the backburner or is done inconsistently, resulting in lackluster results.


In consulting with clients across the country, I see organizations experience this time and time again. And, if leadership could spend just a little time thinking through a plan of action BEFORE “pouring the foundation,” I think they’d see how marketing can truly impact their business.


Here are some simple steps you can follow to help in your marketing planning process:


  1. Market Understanding and Segmentation – This can help you understand and appeal to the needs of a specific group. You can segment the market by looking at demographics, geographies, and specific industry types.
  2. Marketing as it Relates to Your GoalsWhat are your revenue goals for the year by product and services? How many new customers do you want to add? Once you have your business goals defined, start looking at specific marketing goals.
  3. Define Marketing Mix and PrioritizeIf you know you have limited resources to execute the plan or a small budget, choose tactics that will be the most beneficial to meeting your goals. With so many ways to reach out to prospects and customers, select a combination of pieces and delivery methods to ensure that qualified, interested customers hear your message.
  4. Marketing Calendar and Budget Once you have outlined your marketing goals and your marketing tactics, start outlining each in a marketing calendar. The calendar or schedule should cover a 12-month timeframe, breaking down initiatives month-by-month or by quarter. The calendar should also include what each activity will cost. 
  5. Track and Measure Your Success – Tracking the progress of your marketing efforts and building benchmarks are key to understanding what’s working and what might need to be adjusted. After each campaign has been executed, record the responses to gauge their effectiveness.

Developing a marketing plan may seem difficult, time consuming, and for some, a painful experience. But, it doesn’t have to be! Once you have a plan in place, you will find that it’s an essential tool in helping you build your business. For further information on this topic, see our article titled, Marketing Planning: Building a Foundation for Success.


For more helpful marketing tips and information on effective marketing strategies for your business, go to www.lookingglassmarketing.com or visit the Marketing Know-How blog